Saturday, September 04, 2010

Blah Blah Blah

My son has developed a very annoying new habit - if ever I ask him to do something he doesn't want to do he only bothers to give me half a reply finishing the sentence with 'blah blah blah'.  ARRRRG!

For example:

Me:  "Can you put you shoes on please, we are going out."
Son: "No thanks, I am happy here blah blah blah"

Me: "Why don't you go outside and play?"
Son " No thanks, its to blah blah blah"

Me: "Time for bed/bath/clean teeth/wash hands/ etc etc
Son: "I don't want to it's blah blah blah"

To be fair I haven't helped as the first time he did it I laughed, so now he thinks he is a comedy genuis, but it isn't funny any more!

I am not sure what I am struggling with more, the emerging independent 5 year old boy or the 'I'm not wasting my breath mom' attitude.

I'd love to know how other children start to assert themselves so please leave a comment blah blah blah!
(Well you know how it works lol!)

Sunday, August 29, 2010

Forecasting Emotions!

I have just been informed that my son has woken up feeling happy today with no grumpiness in sight but he does think he might feel a bit sad later but that it won't last for long then he will be happy again.

I felt like I was listening to a very bizarre weather forecast, bless him.  

I hope he is right, especially after he had a very grumpy day yesterday where everything was wrong.

I love being a mummy but a day like yesterday does make me wonder why I bother - a much nicer start to today so far - lots of hugs already and its only 9am.  Much better.

(Should add sorry I haven't been around,  the summer holidays are turning my life into a chaotic jumble of random events.....normality will be resumed soon :) )

Wednesday, August 04, 2010

How would you like your Cloned steak prepared madam?

"How would you like your Cloned steak prepared madam?"  A sentence I hope I will never hear but having just read the following  article on the BBC website I am now wondering.

Meat of cloned cow offspring in UK food chain, FSA says

Now I understand sensationalism journalism and the need to cause a reaction; and normally I take everything with a pinch of salt but this is one subject I have strong opinions on.   Simply my opinion is:

I don't want my children to be eating meat or drinking milk from a cloned cow or animal of any kind, in fact I don't want to be consuming it either! 

Whether I am buying fruit, veg or meat I try to buy local organic or free range only as I want to know that my children are eating food which is good for them and is as fresh as possible. So this really disturbs me.  The article goes on to say:

"Earlier this week, a British dairy farmer said he used milk from a cow produced from a cloned parent, but UK dairy industry body DairyCo said it was "confident" no milk from such animals had entered the human food chain."
Is that good enough?   I am sure the farmer knows the history of his cow and yet the industry body is denying knowledge.   If ever cloned embryos have had a part of the food process then we have a right to know through clear labelling and then we can choose if we want to buy that particular item, but to be consuming such products without any understanding is, well I think scary.

Thankfully MEPs have recently voted in favour of a law that would ban cloned meat and other animal products in the European food supply, though there is still another stage next month before it could become EU law.

What do you think?  Do you agree with cloning?  
Would you eat a steak or drink the milk of a cloned animal?

Monday, August 02, 2010

The camera never lies?

I saw a feature on the BBC website today which made me think about all the photographs I have taken and amended; I believe it may be true that the camera never lies but photographers and Photoshop certainly do!

I do believe the camera doesn't lie BUT are  we creating a false truth by what we choose to include in a picture and what to omit by choosing our subject and view point.

Looking in one direction we might have a gorgeous sea/country/castle/garden view, whilst if you look in another you might only see pylons/waste land/ sewage works - so realistically which way will you face to take a photo for the family album?  Hmm, thought so unless you have a fetish for sewage you'll probably go for the nice view.  So already we are creating a distortion of the truth, or at least metaphorically attaching a rose coloured filter to the camera lens.

How often do we make sure our hair is brushed, check in a mirror and pull clothes straight before the shutter button is pressed? Personally for me, it is whenever I can - there is nothing worse than seeing a photograph with a big smile with a piece of food stuck in your teeth!

But this is where the joy of Photoshop comes in, we no longer have to bin a photograph or tear it in two like our ancestors.

If we aren't quite happy with a picture it is soooo easy to adjust it a little and have a little tweak here and there.   The original digital image of my first photo with my new born son does not exist, so no-one will ever see the huge red spot that was on my chin, that has disappeared into a digital oblivion.

Do I think this is wrong? Maybe a little but to me it is just a white lie, a little bit of vanity on my part.  I also know that this is not a life changing issue for anyone and is just for personal use.

Though to my shame I have manipulated photographs which I took for the local newspaper I worked for many years ago.   One of my jobs as a newspaper photographer was to photograph local sports at a weekend including football and rugby.  Often I had a very tight time schedule and would actually only be at a match for a short time before racing off to the next.   Once or twice my photos may have not actually had a ball in the shot, but by the time they were printed in the paper they did.  I never had a complaint, and I always prayed that the family would never order a copy of those photos - it definitely wasn't the camera that was lying, just me!

Sunday, August 01, 2010

Head banging isn't always fun!

My clever boy is normally a very careful and  cautious little boy; he likes to think about things and make sure he can do them safely before he starts most things. Unfortunately though this week he has managed to test the strength of his head not just once but twice.

The first accident happened whilst he was rushing to get in the swimming pool for his swimming lesson and managed to loose his footing and fall backwards.  The loud crack of his head hitting the floor of the pool caused all the other parents to gasp!

My Girly Whirly is the one who has no fear so she had my attention as she had started to run to get in the pool too. If I had had any fear about one of them falling over it was definitely her.  Typically  it was the lesson I that Daddy hadn't come to. I missed all of my Girly Whirlys lesson as I was comforting my injured Clever Boy.  He did start initially to go a little sleepy but thankfully by talking to him and the help of another lovely mom we kept him awake, and other than red 'spotty' indentations on the back of his head (the pattern of the floor) on his head which became a nasty bruise he was fine.

Then yesterday he tested to see if the front of his head was as tough as the back, using a concrete fence post. Running around and playing he managed to trip and somehow fell hitting his head.   This time he has a lovely cut and another bruise, and other than the obvious upset seems ok, though he was worred about going to bed last night as he didn't want to get any blood on his pillow.

My boy is currently going through a speedy growth spurt so I am hoping that this new found clumsiness is a temporary glitch as he re-finds his balance otherwise I will be wrapping him in cotton wool.  Ok I won't as bumps and scrapes are all part of growing up but I'd definitely like to keep any head banging as an accompaniment to heavy metal!

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Funny or just plain wrong?

'My Clever Boy' has always had a fascination with cars and a couple of years ago had a particular interest in Mini's.   So we had no concerns about watching the iconic and original film 'The Italian Job', mainly for the scenes of the minis racing around.

But that was a few years ago and it is still a film we still watch occasionally but now my two are older and are recognising and mimicking things they hear and see including;

I never know whether to be proud of their cultural awareness or to cringe at the words coming out of their mouths.  They have never used the words in any other context, and my son in particular even manages to impersonate Michael Caine's cockney accent and both have perfected the inflections used to emphasise the word 'bloody'.

To be honest I normally find it really funny and I have been known to encourage them to 'perform' to Grandparents but I do wonder if really I should be stopping them.

I'd love to know your thoughts?

Monday, July 26, 2010

Home is my favourite place!

Today is the first day of the 6 week summer holiday and I have decided to go with the flow and haven't made to many (if any!) plans yet.

So as we were up and getting ready this morning I asked my 5 year old  'Clever Man'  what he wanted to do today, his response surprised me a little.  I was expecting him to suggest all kinds of expensive options, especially ones he has mentioned recently including Alton Towers, Warwick Castle, Seaside and a trip on a boat in the Thames in London.

Instead he looked at me and said, 'Mummy I want to stay at home, home is my favourite place.'

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

we should not judge ourselves on other peoples faults!

I have learnt something this week which I needed to know and would want to know but really wish I didn't have to know.

I find myself apologising for what happened - even though it was before I was born!  Then a friend, without being told what had come to light recognised something was wrong and said to me:

"I have come to accept we should not judge ourselves on other peoples faults!"  

Her words of wisdom were perfectly timed.  I still need to come to terms with the information, but I know none of it is my responsibility and as such I cannot bear any guilt.

Monday, July 12, 2010

a frivolous post!

There is no point and purpose to this post other than I wanted to share a post I have just read on another blog!   No idea how I found it, but I think the idea is hysterical, if a little late for me. as I am happily married.  This is a fantastic idea for anyone who is getting married soon though and is at all worried about the impending stag drinkfest .....


Saturday, July 10, 2010

Guilty Pleasures!

I feel really guilty admitting this publicly, but it is a Saturday and instead of the usual hustle and bustle there is peace and quiet, well except for the tap tap of my fingers on the keyboard! And I am really enjoying it!

It has made me remember an occasion when a year or so ago when my clever boy was still only part time at pre-school and my girly whirly was at home full time with me.

I was walking up to school to collect my clever boy (I may be bias but I think he is clever hence my name for him!) and talking to another mum who was telling  me how she had just really enjoyed her couple of hours alone time by having a relaxing and luxurious bath.  At the time I just thought how decadent to have a bath in the middle of a week day afternoon, now I fully appreciate her sentiments.

My girly whirly is at pre-school now and I survive for those couple of hours each day where I can think clearly without interruption, where I can start a job and finish it or just drink a cup of tea in peace.  But for the last week and half I have had either my girly whirly at home or my clever boy as they have been suffering with a virus which has caused really high temperatures and sickness.   So when Gran and Grandad said they wanted to have them both, regardless of health, on a Saturday as the local carnival goes along the road at the fron of their house I nearly cheered.

Hurray for Gran and Grandads, and also for overtime for Daddy as it means I can really have some peace and quiet and catch up with my blogging!

Thursday, July 01, 2010

Wow - it was a scary but life changing moment!

I have only just realised how long it has been since I last posted.

I had so many intentions of coming back and updating you after my DS had his suspected meningitis scare in hospital, thank you everyone for all your kind wishes and support - he is now absolutely fine and thankfully it was a false alarm. Sorry I haven't been back sooner.

The whole incident became a rather pivotal moment where I realised life was starting to pass me by and I was just letting it, so I decided to try and start doing something about it.

I thought about how and why that was happening, and mostly it came down to finances, a lack of them.  Now I know you can do lots and enjoy life lots without money but there are just some things that are soooo much easier with some spare cash I realised it was time to start focusing on my business again.  Being a one income family is hard and I had always said that I would aim to start building the business back up when the children are at school, well my youngest is at pre-school now. So here I am.

So far the main thing I have done is reorganise how I use my day, I make sure I fit in all my jobs when I have my DD, as you already know she is a Domestic Goddess so she loves helping me out.  Which leaves my time when she is at pre-school free to work, its not a lot of time but it is better than before!

So what have I done, well the world has moved on whilst I have been a mom so I have been trying to update my skills and bring myself up-to-date and start networking but my most exciting achievement is that I have launched another blog!  lol!

I discovered I love blogging so much and that I find and meet so many wonderful businesses that I wanted to blog about them and offer giveaways.  It is a sort of half way between here and my business, so I can sort of justify it :)

So thats where I have been and what I have been up to, I just can't believe it has taken me so long.  But I am back and I intend to not leave it so long next time!

Oh yes, my new blog is . Look I have a logo and everything lol!

It is still very new but I have launched my first giveaway, which is a beautiful pendant necklace courtesy of .

Don't let her name fool you, her jewellery is suitable for any occasion!  (Sorry let my Nixi Speak persona take over!)    Either please pop and have a look, leave me a comment to say 'Hi!' and enter the giveaway, you have nothing to loose but potentially a beautiful new necklace to win!

See you soon!   xx

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Worst Weekend of my life PART 1

On Saturday, I woke up expecting a fairly normal weekend day other than Daddy going into work for a few hours.

It was far from a normal weekend, it was the worst weekend of my life, from which I am still recovering, so please forgive bad grammar, phrasing and spelling as I try to tell you how it all started.

About 9am I realised that even though he wasn't really complaining of feeling poorly, other than a headache, my little boy had a high temperature (39 on our ear thermometer), so I gave him some nurofen to help bring his temperature down.  At this point I decided we would be having a lazy day.

We got some pens and paper out, put a film on and generally just played and lazed around for a few of hours.  My little boy joined in and although he wasn't running around in his usual manic way he wasn't obviously feeling poorly.    Just before lunchtime he settled into an armchair and told me he wanted a nap.  This is very unlike him but as his temperature was up, and he had a late night in the week and woken with a bad dream on another night I thought it was a good idea.  I gave him some Calpol as I didn't want his temp going back up whilst he was sleeping, and it was 4 hours since his last medicine.

He didn't settle into a good sleep but stayed relatively settled for about an hour, when he sat up and shouted 'Jug'.  In our house we have a sick jug so I knew instantly what this really meant.  As quick as I could I grabbed the jug but I was too late.  I had a very poorly sick boy.  I cleaned him up and after making sure he was ok I sat him to watch 'The Incredibles' whilst I cleaned up the chair.

After I had cleaned up I looked at him, and saw he was now struggling to keep his eyes open and not in a I am falling asleep kind of way.  I took his temperature it was now reading a scary 39.9, I quickly got a luke warm wet cloth and started sponging him down to try and start cooling him down.  Normally I would get complaints about it feeling too cold but I had no response.  Whilst sponging him down I saw a rash on his face which did not disappear under pressure, I sat him up to check for any more spots and he couldn't sit up as he couldn't keep eyes open.   The rash spread down his face, under his chin and onto his shoulders and round the back of his neck.   His feet were cold, he had earlier mentioned a headache and he was being sick.

I was very worried about my little boy, he had very quickly become very poorly so I decided to call the out of hours GP service.

The lady I spoke to took the symptoms very seriously and told me I would be getting an urgent call back from a medical member of staff, I was being pushed up the queue and at the very most it would be 20minutes. I quickly rang my husband and told him to come home. It was about 4 minutes later when the phone rang.

It was a nurse who quickly confirmed everything I had said.  She asked to check if he could place his chin on his chest, which he could and so that was a very positive sign but nonetheless she told me to go to see the out of hours GP now and they would be waiting for me.  I said my husband was on his way home and would be here within 10 minutes and I would go when he was home, we are less than 5 minutes from our local hospital where the out of hours GP is based.  I was very clearly told not to wait and to go now.

I was very scared for my little boy.

I ran around to get my little boy and girl ready, I rang Gran and Granddad to tell them what was happening and asked them to come to our house to be here when my husband came home so they could bring him to the hospital and they could then look after our little girl.  I then loaded both children into the car.  Just as I had strapped my boy into his car seat my husband pulled up onto the drive so we were able to all go together.  Luckily as we were driving out we passed Gran and Granddad so they turned there car around and followed us.

I quickly carried my little boy into the out of hours GP service, as I approached the desk and said  his name, they said 'we have been expecting you' and ushered us to a room.  Very very quickly the GP was with us and he took a look at my little boy, heard my story of the day and then asked if he had been in contact with anyone with Meningitis.  We hadn't, as far as I was aware.

He informed me that until blood tests/cultures were done then there was no way to confirm or deny Meningitis so because of his combination of symptoms and obviously being a very poorly boy he wanted to treat for the worst case.  Straight away my little boy was given a shot of penicillin in his bottom - OMG did he scream.

We were then taken straight into a side room on the children's ward and kept in isolation.  The nurses and doctors we all fantastic and did everything they could to help settle us and feel at ease.

My little boy was now very aware of his surroundings and I (and the doctors) thought adrenalin had kicked in after the injection as he was now more alert. Thankfully.

The doctors came to take blood sample and put a cannula in his hand.  That is an experience I do not want to recall or repeat, and the IV antibiotics were started.

At this point practicalities are setting in so it was decided it was me that would stay in hospital with our boy  and that Daddy would look after our little girl.  So I decided that after his first dose of antibiotics and knowing he was settled I would race home and collect the over night things.

I was scared.  When I rang the out of hours service I really expected to be told there is nothing to worry about but keep an eye out for X  so to very quickly be in isolation on the children's ward having seen 3 doctors and student doctors and nurses who were all taking this very seriously was very surreal and horrid.

Saturday, May 08, 2010

Had to share this.....

I just have to share this  - if you haven't seen the blog, you are missing a treat.

Her latest post is a fantastic idea for a birthday present - a truly personalised and special gift which cost her virtually nothing to create with her young children.  If you haven't checked it out yet please do.......

Tuesday, May 04, 2010

Belated Birthday

Thankfully it is only my blog post which is late, and not my son's 5th birthday celebrations! 

(It seems like only yesterday that I was worrying about it but somehow it is nearly 4 weeks since his birthday already.   OMG I have just realised it is only 11 months till he is 6 now lol!)

Anyway we were worried about the weather right up until the last minute.  Even as the bouncy castle was being inflated the dark clouds were lingering and threatening us with rain but thankfully as the party guests started to arrive the clouds dispersed and left us with a glorious afternoon to enjoy.

All the children had lots of fun including the gatecrashers - two brothers and their sister from around the corner -  they saw the bouncy castle and invited themselves and we couldn't  turn them away!  

The bouncy castle was a big hit but the biggest and cheapest hit! were the rocket balloons which Daddy had the job of blowing up and then everyone loved letting go.  We still have a couple stuck in a tree too!

We did have a couple of party games which worked wonderfully to calm everyone down before tea.  For tea everyone had a picnic on the grass!

My son wanted a house birthday cake as he loves houses and anything structural or architectural, so I had a go at making a house, but to try an make it a little more interesting I added some balloons coming from the chimney like in  Disney's film 'UP!'   

What do you think?  Most of the decoration was done by candlelight as we had a long power cut the night before his birthday!!  So it was all good fun!!

My son loved it so much we weren't allowed to cut it!!

I am sure if I hadn't posted closer to the big day then  I would have remembered lots more details of the day but suffice to say a fantastic time was had by all and we definitely made a good decision in having it at home, though not sure I would have been saying that if it had rained!!!!!!

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Where has the time gone?

Since my little boys 5th birthday party I have no idea where the time has gone, I barely seem to have sat down!   So please accept my sincerest apologies for not updating my blog sooner, I promise to try and not be so remiss in future!

This post is very short and sweet and really just to remind you all that I am still here and that you can't get rid of me that easily!!

I will, in my next post, be showing you a picture of the cake I made for my son's birthday party and updating you on how that went as I was a little worried before hand!   I also need to tell you about the experiment we did in our garden over the weekend, and my new surge of motivation to become a (self employed) working mum!   So lots to talk about and I will update you very soon.


Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Easter Bonnets!

This has taken longer to post than I intended - life does seem to get in the way of blogging!

These are my (childrens!) Easter Bonnets.   What do you think?

and being beautifully modelled by my gorgeous monsters:

So come on then I've shown you mine so show me yours!!

Thursday, March 25, 2010

AArrrrrg its party time!

The week after Easter my little (not so baby anymore!) boy will be 5.  Nooooooooo! It has gone tooo quickly. 

I made the mistake of asking him what he wanted to do and he announced "I want a party with  lots of my friends in the garden with my trampoline and bouncy castle."

There are several issues with this:

The first is the weather, early April is very unpredictable.  The day he was born I can vividly remember the gales and the snowstorm the day after, yet in 2007 I have photos that prove it was one of the best days of that year!

The second is the trampoline has not yet been built.  We brought it last year when our garden was still a work in progress mud pit (we only seeded the grass last October!) and so we need a nice day, preferably with a few dry days before hand so the ground has chance to dry out, to make it up.  Not looking good so far!

The third is the bouncy castle is quite small and one of the seams is giving way; it is fine for my two but not too sure it will withstand twelve 3 to5 year olds!

I delayed sending out the invitations for as long as I dared in the hope I would be able to find a long term weather forecast telling me we were going to have a fantastic Easter Week, it hasn't happened but I couldn't wait any longer.  I also couldn't think of a cheap alternative. 

I was quite concerned, and I explained this to an old schoolfriend of mine.  She  laughed when I said I was worried about having twelve children in my house for a couple of hours, and she reminded me of our childhood birthday parties.

And she was right. (Thanks Susan)

When I was young our parents thought nothing of having our parties at home, in fact the concept of hosting a party at a venue wasn't even an option.   Most pubs didn't want children anywhere near them, or we were hidden in 'family rooms', and places like Wacky Warehouses just didn't exist.  I am only going back to the 1970's so not so long ago really, but my how things have changed.   Every party now seems to be a 'bowling party', 'a wacky warehouse party' a 'soft play party',  a 'mcDonalds' party or even near us one place is offering a 'cake baking party' (10 children can bake and decorate a birthday cake for just £175 - don't think that includes food either!!).

So as much as I am keeping my fingers crossed for a gorgeous day so my son can have the party he wants I now also have an alternative plan.

We will have a traditional party full of party games: 

Pin The tail on The Donkey,
Musical Statues,
Pass The Parcel
Sleeping Lions, 
Dancing and any others I can think of! 
A pinata (didn't exist in my day!!),
and set up football in the garage! 

So with food and Birthday cake hopefully that will be enough to entertain them all if it rains.  

I also have another cheat though - I think I am going to  hire a bouncy castle. Not only does it come with a raincover it means we don't have to build a trampoline and it will save our bouncy castle from getting destroyed.

So thanks to my friend Susan I am now looking forward to the party; especially the glass of wine I will have on standby for once everyone has gone home!!!


Thursday, March 18, 2010

My first Photo MeMe: My First cuddle

For those of you, like me who are new to a Photo MeMe here are the 'rules':

The instructions:

1. Open the first (oldest) photo folder in your computer library
2. Scroll to the 10th photo
3. Post the photo and the story behind it
4. Tag 5 or more people to continue the thread.
Here goes; here is my photograph:

As soon as I saw the Photo MeMe instuctions stating that we had to open the oldest digital photo album file I knew that the photograph would be one from the day my first child was born as we purchased our first digital camera to capture the day our little boy came into the world. 

In just 3 weeks we will be celebrating my baby boy's 5th birthday, I cannot believe it has come around so quickly and how much my life has changed for the better since that day.

When this photograph was taken I would guess that my little boy was not even an hour old.  I had just gone through a normal deliverywithout any pain relief - I had been using Gas & Air but the midwives made me stop using it as they said I wasn't pushing proper because of it!   OMG, it hurt, but by the time this photograph had been taken that had been pretty much forgotten because I had my little baby boy safe and cuddling in my arms.

If you look at the size of his tiny head to the little hat you can see he was a tiny dot, weighing just 5lb 10.  He was born early, if had been born just  2 days earlier would have been classed as a premie.

I have loved looking back at these photographs, and the timing, being so close to his birthday makes it even more poignant. 

OO - just remembered that the day the photo was taken we were having gales ( I can remember listening to the noisy gusty wind as I lay in my hospital bed looking at this little bundle of joy!) and the day after, when we brought him home, there was a snow storm!  As it was early April it didn't settle but it was definately not for want of trying!   Funny the things you remember!!

One of friends is waiting for the birth of her first baby, she was due a couple of days ago, and if she reads this I wish her as many happy memories as I have!

Thank you for the Tag Humdrum Mum!

Now I pass the batton on to:
1) JoeyGrey at All Things Catty
2) It's a Mummys Life at It's a Mummy's Life
3) Nicliz at Infertility Hurts
4) paintinkandstamps at I Just Make Stuff 
5) Ang at Aingeal Jewellery Designs

As you can see I follow a wide variety of blogs lol!

I've been tagged!! woohoo!

I know I am being silly but I am really excited that I have been tagged by A Humdrum Mum for my first photo MeMe.

Thank you!!   I am excited because I now feel like I am achieving something in Blog Land but also because I have a valid excuse to go and search through my  photographs. 

We are paranoid in our family about loosing our precious digital photographs; if they get corrupted they are irreplaceable so they are stored on my computer in the spare bedroom , which I like to call my office, which at the moment does not connect to the internet, just in case!  

It has occurred to me though that in the 'old days' when we had negatives and prints nobody worried about keeping their negatives in a fire proof safe just in case though, so maybe we are being over-protective!!   Once we have a back-up of all our photo's maybe we will relax.  Last week my hubby convinced me that we needed to invest in a 1TB HDD primarily for the purpose of backing up all our data,  I am now thinking that actally that was really because the PS3 memory was nearly full!   Hmmm, conned again!

So I will be venturing to 'my office' to browse and recapture some memories and will post back soon!

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Why didn't Baby Two Ears didn't answer me?

Just a quick post because this made me chuckle.

My little boy in in Reception class and today, from what he has just told me, they have been talking about the story of Easter, but I think he may have misunderstood a little.   

Here is a little of the Easter story as told to me my by nearly 5 year old son:

"Baby Two Ears, er  no, I mean Jesus,  died when he was an adult.  He was buried in a tube and the skeleton of him flew into the air and went to heaven in the sky.  He has stayed there for a very long time." 

He then added:

"You can talk to Baby Jesus.  You need to be outside, or have your windows open so your voice can go up to the sky.  I talked to him earlier in the hall.  Mummy why didn't he answer me?"

It made me laugh. 

Friday, March 12, 2010

National Trust recommends bottle of air for stress!

I'm not going mad this is an article from Reuters news agency about how The National Trust are hoping to help calm down workers with jars of fresh air!! (see below for the article!)   I wonder if it works on stressed out mums???? 

I am really reposting this as The Trust is offering the jars as part of a promotion to publicise a weekend of free entrance to its attractions on March 20/21.  If you haven't got an annual pass it can be expensive to access Trust sites, so I think this is a fab way of having a cheap trip out with your family!!  I am putting it in my diary!   For more information try and you can find your local Trust locations!


Feeling stressed? Try a bottle of fresh air

The National Trust is offering stressed-out workers 10 minutes of calm, bottled up in a jar full of nothing but fresh air.

That's the effect, it says, of the air, which comes from some of the country's favourite beauty spots.

The glass jars are being handed out to workers in London who can choose a variety of aromas including the lakeside smell of Windermere in Cumbria and the grassy tang of Stourhead in Wiltshire.

"With most of us living in an urban environment and having little time to escape to the great outdoors, we thought it was about time the National Trust shared just a fraction of our copious amounts of fresh air with the nation," said Trust spokesman Andrew McLaughlin.

He said a study had shown 74 percent of workers admit they feel stressed every day but that 70 percent say that escaping to the countryside makes them feel instantly relaxed.

The Trust is offering the jars as part of a promotion to publicise a weekend of free entrance to its attractions on March 20/21.


Wednesday, March 10, 2010

I feel officially grown up

Yesterday was my 35th birthday and, thank you for asking :) , I had a really nice day except for the fact that it was my first birthday without a card from either my dad or mom. 

Now for you to understand the situation with my mom requires a very complicated, old and long story which I have no intention of boring you with apart from saying that it all started when I was 17, so as much as I mention it, it is long dealt with and I am actually very accepting of the situation. It has only entered my thoughts because of my dad. 

If you have followed my posts then you will know that my dad had a stroke at the start of the year. 

He is doing fantastically well, I am amazed by his progress, and thankfully he is now back at his home.  Other than requiring his shopping/finances sorted he is pretty much looking after himself on a day to day basis; though he is still struggling with his speech and thought processes.  Everytime he has an appointment, a food delivery or event(including my birthday!) I am writing it on the Classic Cars calendar hanging in his kitchen and he is, so far, managing and has not missed anything.

I nearly didn't go and see him because I thought it would really upset me if he didn't have any understanding that it was my birthday.  But after having had a wonderful, non-rushed, pub lunch with just my hubby (bliss, and I actually don't remember the last time that happened!) we decided  as we had some time before collecting children from school to pop and see him. 

Now don't get me wrong I did not expect a birthday card or gift from my dad, but I was hoping that when he saw me that he would give me a hug because he had seen the date on his calendar.

No hug. No 'happy birthday' greeting attempt. And I didn't remind him as I did not want to risk upsetting him. I am really glad we made the effort though as I was greeted with him communcating to me that his central heating wasn't working; which meant his meter had run out of credit.  So hubby and I raced to collect his gas card, raced to the shop for credit (added lots this time to make sure this doesn't happen again!), stopped to collect children and went back to see my dad.  He loved seeing his grandchildren, it always perks him up, and now he has heating again so he won't freeze.  And I realised it didn't matter to me that my dad had 'forgotten'* my birthday, it was enough to see him.

I am amazed that I wasn't upset or emotional and that I was just pleased to be able to help my dad and see him enjoy his grandchildren. In fact I was more disapointed over a bunch of  broken flowers from someone else entirely lol!  (The picture is for dramatic effect only, they weren't quite that bad, but really why did they bother at all??!!)

So I feel that at 35 I have reached adulthood and become a grown up!

*I know that my dad hasn't forgotten out of choice but out of circumstances beyond his control!

Sunday, March 07, 2010

"Mummy, are you proud of me?"

At just before 7am on this cold but bright sunny Sunday morning I was woken by the patter of small footsteps coming into my bedroom; if only it could have been an hour or so later!

My litle girl, Boo, lifted up the duvet and climbed into bed for a cosy Mummy cuddle.  Awwwww.   

This is a regular occurance and is also one of the best times of my day; yes she does it nearly every morning!   Boo wanders in, half asleep and when she sees me open my eyes to welcome her in she gives me the most beautiful. loving smile I have ever seen and we have some just 'us' time.  It melts my heart .   She snuggles in for a cosy cuddle and if I am lucky she relaxes and dozes off to a peaceful sleep, and so do I.  How idylic.  Hmmmm. 

I wish!  Yes it is wonderful and I am enjoying it while it lasts, she is now 3 years old, and I know that in 10 or so short years (probably a lot less but I can hope) the last thing she will want to do is creep into my bedroom for a cuddle; but (why is there always a 'but'?) for some inexplicable reason she feels like she has spent the night in a freezer, and so I am actually rudely awakened by, what feels like blocks of ice being placed next to me.  Brrrrrrrr. 

I can't stand being cold and love to feel warm and cosy so I am always amazed that it doesn't seem to bother her; and worse within a couple of minutes of me trying to warm her up and wrap her in my duvet she is kicking my duvet off her, and me.    Add to that the fact that she very rarely settles back down to sleep preferring instead to talk, poke or prod me (one of her favourite games is to poke my nose and loudly shout 'beep' at varying pitches) or generally just fidget so much that I end up getting up to make sure Daddy and her big brother aren't disturbed; then it isn't really that idylic,  well apart from that smile full of unconditional love.

(I should add though that mornings when I just don't have the energy to get up I can manage to ignore her for long enough that Daddy will get up and I get a lie in, like yesterday when she came wandering in at 6.30am!)

This morning though she came through and as usual didn't settle back down to sleep but instead looked sincerely in to my eyes and very seriously asked "Mummy are you proud of me?"

Of course my answer was 'YES'!   I know my little girl is the best, most adorable, beautiful  and clever girl ever,  as I know my son is the best, most adorable, wittiest, gorgeous, intelligent boy ever.   I make sure I tell them this every single day.  

(I do accept that I am not the only one to believe this of my children, but I know I am the only one that is right in my beliefs!! )  :)

So now I want to know why did she ask me?  I can't help it,  I worry about everything!

Wednesday, March 03, 2010

Chance to sit down and have a cup of tea!

Phew - since I last found the time to sit down and cathartically splurge I don't feel I have stopped, to the extent where on occasions I have had to remind myself to breathe!

Last Thursday my little girl, who from now on I will refer to as 'Boo' managed to start off my manic run  of stress by scaring me nearly to death. 

Picture my kitchen; basically fitted cupboards which aren't fitted (but which are fantastic for moving around and trying in new locations to see which works best!) , with no worktops just some very large, and heavy, 60x60cm tiles on the appliances.  It isn't actually as bad as it sounds, well it is visually, but as a working kitchen it is fine, it has to be!  It has been like this since we moved in 18months ago when realised what was here was that bad that it had to go immediately and what we have now is what we managed before the money ran out! 

So what did Boo do?  Boo desperately wanted, as is her domestic goddess way, help me prepare the tea.  I was having a very busy day and so was rushing, and she was flitting in and out of the kitchen.  I knew she wanted to put the cream in the chicken curry I was making but at the moment I needed to put it in she was distracted.  So rather than call her to come and help I carried on quickly, and grateful for the peace.  A short while later she came through and spotted I had put the cream on the dishwasher, deliberately to be out of her reach.  I explained that I had already used the cream and that she could help with the rice instead.  Then I was distracted by the phone.   Whilst I was less than 2 foot away from her but facing in the opposite direction, my little girl Boo decided that the way to reach the cream was by pulling open the dishwasher door and using it as a step.

Ordinarily, in a fully fitted kitchen, this would not cause a problem other than possibly damaging the dishwasher door but in a half fitted kitchen, Oh My God.   The dishwasher fell over on top of her, with the large heavy tile sliding down onto her too and the breadmaker that lives on top of the diswasher, well that was dangling by its plugged in cable just inches above her head.    

She was upset and very scared, but probably not as scared as me, and luckily just ended up with a nose bleed, bruised nose, bruised forehead and a chipped front tooth.  It could have been so much worse.  Inside the dishwasher were some very sharp knives and glasses, I dred to think how bad it could have been.   So I spent Thurday evening shaking from the shock of it all and worrying about what might have been.    But I she is now fine and was more upset that she may have broken the bread maker (she didn't we used it yesterday!), and that her sock got covered in cream, as did most of the kitchen!

So since recovering from Boo highlighting the urgent need for us to finish our kitchen, not just for asthetical purposes but also for her safety I have mainly been running around after my dad.   My dad came home on Friday from rehabilitation following his stroke and I am amazed at how well he is doing but at the same time there are lots of things he is doing which worries me.   So I am spending alot of time going around to check on him and doing all his jobs (which I don't want to do but there is no-one else to do them!) whilst my jobs and what I want to do isn't happening, and I'm not sleeping properly because I am worrying about him and my jobs getting behind so then I get more stressed. Looking after two small children and fitting in 3 school runs everyday doesn't help!   So a vicious circle.  ARRRRG!

But today I have made time to sit down and have a cup of tea, on my own with no children or husband  or dad to want or need anything from me and I have decided that enough is enough.  I am going to take control and de-stress as it isn't fair on all those around me, or doing any good in my quest to be known by my children as a practically perfect mummy,  and anyway I have a kitchen I need to plan and finish!

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

I'll Do It Tomorrow!

Every now and again (probably more often than I like to admit!) I have a day where other things take over from what I need to do or I just don't feel like doing what I should be doing.  

Today was one of those days!

I had so many good intentions when I woke up this morning but the day has been hijacked by telephone calls and visitors and a general feeling of 'I'll do it tomorrow'.

After today my 'To Do List' for tomorrow includes:

1) A really good vacuum/sweep up in the kitchen as today I was really naughty and kicked all the crumbs and dropped bits of food under the kitchen counter as I didn't feel like getting the vacuum out after preparing breakfast/lunch or dinner.  (I have never done this before and it felt really naughty lol!)

2) Use the washing machine as today I didn't.  (I did empty the tumble dryer and out everything away though so at least I am all ready to start fresh tomorrow!)

Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs (Two-Disc Blu-ray/DVD Combo) [Blu-ray]3) After school tomorrow I have to give my children some time and attention as today within seconds of getting home from the school run the phone rang and then as I was saying 'bye' the door bell went.  My son asked for the film 'Cloudy With A Chance Of Meatballs'; normally I would put him off till the weekend but today I put it on without batting an eyelid so I could talk to my visitor in peace. 

4) Make the chicken curry I had planned for dinner tonight a delicious (left over) chicken curry but because I was talking I ran out of time to prepare it for tonight so instead we had my cheats tortilla pizza (basically a tortilla covered in a tomato sauce (made from quickly mixing tomato puree, tomato ketchup with a splash of Olive Oil and some Basil) and then covering with grated cheese.  Definately not a gourmet meal, but very quick and easy and the kids eat it!

5) Make Bolognaise this was meant for tomorrow nights dinner, but I still have to make it otherwise the minced beef won't be fit for human consumption.  I think I'll get the slow cooker going in the morning, and then freeze it tomorrow evening.  Consolation is I will have some pre-prepared meals in readiness for another 'I'll Do It Tomorrow' day!

Do I feel bad or guilty.  No.  Everything I have put off can wait until tomorrow, its not like I do it everyday.  Just next time maybe I should try and do it when I haven't already got a busy tomorrow!

I should add that my dad had a stroke in early January and following rehab he is now ready to go home (with support from the Stroke Team). So for the last few days I have been having calls from Social Workers, Occupational Therapists and Support Workers to make sure everything is in place.  And by everything in place that means a long list of things for me to do (my jobs for tomorrow!) - the perils of being an only child! (That sounds like it should be the title of another blog!)

Friday, February 19, 2010

An extra happy boy and a worn out mummy!

I realised yesterday that my 4 (nearly 5) year old  little boy seems 'extra happy' this week. 

Now he is a normally happy and well behaved little boy anyway who laughs alot and likes making others laugh too.  He has a very infectious laugh so you usually can't help joining in anyway!  That is of course unless he is tired, hungry or poorly, when he really can moan and if you get a combination of 2 or more symptoms, well lets just say if you can this situation is best avoided!  But as he probably gets his moaning skills from me I can't really complain, and also I think that is all pretty normal for a nearly 5 year old!

However, this week, he is bouncing around, singing made up songs, playing games nicely on his own and with his sister and also taking great delight in teasing me and his little sister.  It is wonderful.   He is loving every minute; despite his glue ear he is the happiest boy and because of it the the loudest (not sure the neighbours are enjoying the singing as much though!!)  

Now of course this could be because I planned our 'Super Super Fun' half term.   

One day we went to Coconut Island (local soft, fun childrens place) where we met two of his classmates and everyone had lots of  fun - well until  banged my son head coming down a slide.  Another afternoon we  attended a circus workshop; which started with a short show which had the all children in hysterics, fantastic to see.  Personally though I thought the entertainer was a bit creepy and the fact his flies were half open didn't help!  All credit to him though he knew how to make his target audience laugh and roll around the floor in amazement! My son is now incorporating some of the jokes into home!  The children were all then allowed to try to walk a tightrope using long colourful poles to balance, ride (or should I say race) wobbly bikes, bounce on trampolines, dress up and even juggle. My two didn't want the workshop to finish!  

For pancake day we made LOTS of batter, with my two doing their own measuring and sieving of flour, pouring of milk and egg breaking.  I did the cleaning up!  Daddy finished work early and we had lots of laughter throwing pancakes around the kitchen.   I was shocked that my children didn't enjoy eating the pancakes, but being allowed and encourage to throw them around they thought was brilliant! 

We spent ages in the local artshop on another day and came home with the supplies to make beaded necklaces and treasure chests.  The treasure chests are gorgeous; obviously my little girls is very pink, it is covered in pink felt and decorated with pink glitter glue, and my boys, well it looks like a pirates tresaure chest that is assuming of course that pirates treasure chests have lots of blue glitter glue on them!  (As soon as the weather gets a bit better I have plans to fill the treasure chests with gold chocolate coins I have saved from Christmas for a treasure hunt in the garden too - but thats for another post!)

I have enjoyed it to and am really proud as inbetween all the fun I have also managed to just about stay on top of the housework and fit in a few other required chores too, oh and we have baked a huge batch of fairy cakes and read lots of books too. Phew, it all sounds exhausting!

So I was feeling really good; taking the credit for my 'extra happy' boy but then I started to think and then started to worry.  Maybe it isn't because he has enjoyed having quality time and doing lots with his mom and sister maybe it is because there are problems at school.  Maybe I have missed something...  Arrrg.  I confess I am a worrier and it got worse the split second I became pregnant as I want to make sure everything is perfect my off spring.   I am learning though that by spending time worrying and fretting I am missing out on the fun times  so I am going to stop worrying and just believe that my little boy is 'extra happy' because he has enjoyed his week with his mummy. 

And in case you wanted to know what are we doing for the rest of today, as little as possible as I am worn out!

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

New or Old Toys?

As I type my son is upstairs playing with toys which are between 25- 30 years old! 

Unbelievably these are all toys which, other than looking a little dated, are still as current today as they were then!

A couple of days ago Daddy decided to venture into the loft and during his search for a SCSI cable I needed (thats another story!) when he came across a box of his old Lego and another box of his old Transformers.   So down they came, I was overjoyed at the thought of more clutter for the house!  (I did get my cable to though!)

Now my son has recently developed a huge interest in Lego and Transformers so it was like christmas again in our house; just without the tons of wrapping paper strewn everywhere!

He didn't care that they weren't brand new and shiny and not strapped into impossible to get into packaging (why do the do that anyway?).  He was just in awe of the 'new' toys and immediately started playing, as did Daddy!  And they are the only toys my son has played with since! 

I used to complain to Daddy about the amount of toys he has from his childhood, even suggested that we should sell them to make some money.  Especially as one of the old Transformers is worth about £50 alone; surrisingly that one is not being played with! 

Seeing my son so happy with all these toys I am now really glad that Daddy kept them for so long!  Though I am also wondering why we spent so much on new versions at Christmas when we could have just wrapped up the old ones, especially as other than being pre-loved these are all still in pefect condition!

So next time my son is complaining we will venture into the loft to see what other old toys Daddy has stored for 25 + years!

(Just a quick note to say  the links in this post are because I wanted the pictures!!!)

Sunday, February 14, 2010

A natural Domestic Goddess in the making?

No, I'm not talking about me, far from it.  I am referring to my 3 year old daughter.  Currently she has gathered all her ingredients (2 remote controls and a pair of shoes, otherwise known as flour, sugar, butter and eggs) and is making a birthday cake for her brother which will have a car and candles on.   She has also put her baby doll to bed after feeding him a 'cake' she made earlier.

Ok, this is her playing a lovely make-believe game but her instinct and interests are so different from that of her brother that I really do believe she could be natural Domestic Goddess.

Now her brother has always loved helping with any baking BUT that is as far as it goes; he has never shown any interest in helping load the washing machine or empty the tumble dryer.  If my litle girl spots me doing one of these jobs she is there offering her help, and slowing me down!  If  I am peeling vegetables she pulls the chair over and has to place them in the saucepan of (cold) water.  When I am changing the beds she has to take the pillow cases off.   If I am hoovering she always helps, and the same with dusting too; she has her own pink feather duster!

Most of the time this is adorable, though sometimes it is extremely inconvenient, but my point is her brother has never shown the same amount of interest in housework so does this mean she is a natural Domestic Goddess?

Probably not, reality is she probably just likes copying mummy and I am making to much of it!  But it does seem to go deeper than that as she even will stop watching her favourite tv show to help!

Is it a gender issue?  I don't think so; but my observations only involve a boy and a girl, I have no others to compare, so who knows.  I won't be rushing to publish my opinions in a research paper thats for sure.

But I am absolutely amazed, compared to her brother at the same age, at how much she wants to be involved in helping with the daily chores, even cleaning the bathroom but I do draw the line when she wants to help clean the toilet! 

Does this mean she keeps her own room and toys tidy?  Of course not. 

She is far messier than her brother but at least hopefully she is learning how to tidy up her mess.  The question should probably be do you think she will still have a natural instinct to be a Domestic Goddess when she is a teenager?

Friday, February 12, 2010

Why is my son being naughty?

I like to have a reason for my children's changing behaviour and this last week my son has been a lot naughtier than he has been in quite a while. 

He is 4 1/2 and exactly half way through his first year at school.  He is normally a fantastically happy little boy with a level of understanding above his age.  If I take him to the local library he heads straight for the non-fiction book so he can find more things to learn about - all his own choice.

But this last week he has been different; louder, more emotional,  ignoring me when I ask him to do something and day dreaming alot more.  The worst is the louder; he is just hollering everything.   'MUMMY' being the main one, even when I am stood right next to him.

One day when I collected him from school  he shouted at me directly in front of his teacher so I took the opportunity to ask her if he was like this at school.  She said he had been louder but that at this stage of the school year most children are like it as they are now comfortable enough to fight for attention.   That made sense; and I had a reason and it wasn't my fault so no black marks for my parenting skills.  I just thought we need to sort this out.

Then yesterday I realised that my little boy isn't just ignoring me he isn't hearing me.  

I asked him if wanted some chocolate and I had no response.  Now I know I didn't ask very loudly and I wasn't right next to him but normally an offer of chocloate can be heard from any distance.  So I went closer and whispered 'Do you want some chocolate?'.  Still no response.  At this stage his Dadddy joined in and whispered 'Do you want a present?'   Still no response.  So I said, quite loudly, 'Have you just heard us talking?' and he turned around with a startled look on his face and said, really politely 'Sorry mummy, what did you say?'  I felt terrible.

This time last year, when we again had lots of horrible colds my little boy developed Glue Ear.  After a few weeks it cleared up without treatment and we didn't get it again, that is until now. 

Glue ear is a condition where the middle ear fills with glue-like fluid instead of air. This causes dulled hearing. In most cases it clears by itself without any treatment.

I do deserve a black mark for not picking it up sooner my little boy isn't being naughty at all, he can't hear as well as he can normally. So he is louder because he can't hear himself; not responding because he isn't hearing what is asked of him;  day dreaming because he can't hear what is going on around him and more emotionally because he isn't understanding. 

I am going to do some research on how best to handle this, as I can't remember what we did last year, but I do know my little boy deserves sympathy and hugs not to be labelled as naughty.   It is most definately not a stage but a medical issue.

Off to give my little boy a hug whilst I feel guilty for not picking it up sooner.

Monday, February 08, 2010

Super Super Fun!

AAAAAARG!   I have just started getting used to having a couple of hours a day to do what I want/need to do as my youngest daughter started pre-school mid January and next week is have a half term .  AAAAARG!  

What am I going to do? 

She loves those couple of hours at pre-school, as she tells me everyday is 'SUPER SUPER FUN!'    My son loves school - he has a fantastic teacher.

I love those couple of hours too because I can run around and clean the house, tidy the toys, catch up with friends and go round the shops in half the time it tackes with my children in tow.  Don't get me wrong I love my children but suddenly I really appreciate that by having two hours a day on my own I am actually able to give them more quality time so it is win win!   Which all helps in my quest to have them always think of me as Practically Perfect!

So how am I going to cope and continue my 'Practically Perfect' mission during my first half term?

I am going to plan each day.  Very unlike me, as I normally just go with the flow but in an effort to keep us all happy and smiling I am making plans!

Not only do I have half term but also this Friday is a teacher Training day so I have 6 days (not including weekends as Daddy is home then too!) to manage to entertain and have fun with my children cheaply whilst also getting all the normal household tasks done.

As yet I have no idea about Friday, as I only remembered this morning that it was teacher training.  I remembered as we were about to walk out of the door to go to school with my son looking pristine in his school uniform, when  I also rememberd that today was a non school uniform day.  We had to have a very quick outfit change,  we JUST made it to school in time!

Luckily last week our school sent out a leaflet detailing a Circus Workshop which will run at our local childrens centre on Monday afternoon.  So that is already booked and sounds like it should be fantastic fun; though how good a four and three year old will be at juggling, walking a tight rope and unicycling remains to be seen!  Added bonus is it is free  -  woohoo!

Tuesday, is Shrove Tuesday so we will make a big deal of making pancakes.  I fully expect my kitchen to be covered in flour and eggs and milk by the time we have finished.  I must remember to buy some maple syrup and lemons though!  (They won't be eaten together I hasten to add!)

On Wednesday I have a friend of mine coming around.  She is wonderful with both of my children and will happily give them all the attention they crave from her.  I just hope we manage to get in a bit of catch up time and gossip time too, because they always seem to think she has come to see them!

That leaves just 2 more days, which I have yet to plan, but will probably invovle Grandparents.  

Over the week we will also read lots of books, play lots of games, and do lots of jigsaws which my daughter has a current fascination with.

So all planned, well close enough, and I will just have to run around and try and keep on top of all the jobs in between.   Suddenly the week doesn't seem so long or daunting and I am looking forward to it!

I'm now actually looking forward to half term, I have a feeling it will be "SUPER SUPER FUN"!!!!

Thursday, February 04, 2010

Here I come, ready or not... first post, I hope you like it.

Don't worry, I know I am not a 'Practically Perfect Mummy!' but I do want to be, after one day, a few weeks ago, my four year old son gave me a huge hug and said;

"You are 'Practically Perfect Mummy!" 

Wow!  It brought tears to my eyes. I mean he was completely wrong and of course I know it. But still, it was lovely to be told.

So I now aspire to perfection; but it is hard work especially with two young children constantly pushing the boundaries.

I keep promising myself that tomorrow I will shout less, moan less, complain less and more importantly spend more time laughing and playing with my gorgeous two children who are growing up so quickly.

But I still have days when I don't manage perfection; actually I can't think of any when I have managed to achieve it.  To be fair to myself, the worst days are normally after a badly disturbed nights sleep (I swear my two conspire and plan whose turn it is to wake mummy up at 3am!) 

I need to find more quality time to spend with them each day, and definately need to laugh and giggle more.

So in an attempt to fulfill my quest I am going to ignore the washing up from lunch/the washing machine that needs emptying and refilling/the carpet that needs vacuming and go and play hide and seek.

I am on my way to being a 'Practically Perfect Mummy!' and you never know one day I might get there.

(Oh and, in case you were wondering, we were watching Mary Poppins at the time he told me!)

So here I come; ready or not